Dumb and Dumber – Soundtrack Review

The Most Annoying Sound In The World
The Most Annoying Sound In The World
One of the best films of 1994 and one of the funniest films of the decade was successful mainly because of the two centralpartnerships- Carrey and Daniels, and theFarrelly Brothers. One of the things you notice upon repeated viewings (although many notice on their first watch) is the high quality soundtrack mostly made up of new music from the era. The only letdown of this CD is that it leaves out a few of the best tracks from the movie, namely `Where I Find My Heaven’ and the older `Can We Still Be Friends’. Whether this was down to legal issues or time constraints I don’t know, but the exclusion is pretty inexcusable. Luckily what is included is a collection of fun, at times humourous songs which will remind fans of the movie of their favourite scenes. Those not familiar or keen on the movie will still find something they like in this eclectic mix, from punk to funk, from whimsicalto poptastic.`The Ballad Of Peter Pumpkinhead’ kicks off the album in a fitting way- it begins at the first part of the lads’ journey in the movie. By the Crash Test Dummies who were riding on a wave of success at the time, and with vocals from Ellen Reid who adds a sweet, almost country twang. It is an upbeat lively cover and in many ways is the film’s theme song given the wacky but tender lyrics. It is a fun, sing-along song with great melodies and nice harmonica work.

`New Age Girl’ has an intro full of madness and humour- everyone knows the duh-duh- raugh chant. Deadeye Dick put plenty of bounce into the offbeat story of a hippy style new age girl, and a series of questions concerning her between friends. It has the most manic and funny lyrics on the album, and has a West Coast pop feel to it. There are many memorable moments, great melodies, and it is an interesting take on the traditional love song. Once again this seems to go well with the characters and plot of the film not least because of Mary.

`Insomniac’ is a good song by Echobelly, full of Britpop melodies and angst. Jangly guitars playing alongside Sonya Madan’s sultry, off kilter tones are the main focus. Strong lyrics involving love, sex, and the terrible effects these can have on you.

`If You Don’t Love Me I’ll Kill Myself’ is a staunchly Yankee song sandwiched between 2 Euro songs, and has an almost country feel to it. I like the sentiment- a feeling I’m sure most romantics and losers in love have felt, I like the lyrics as a whole, and the music is quite jaunty and bouncy rather than going for the obvious stream of minor chords.

`Crash’ is the popular song by The Primitives; here it is the slightly different 95 mix. Again it is a fast, fun, upbeat song although the lyrics are pretty dark for such a catchy pop song. This is probably the most famous song on the album and again it suits the film’s road movie, collision course story perfectly.

`Whiney Whiney’ is a song I tend to skip- mainly because that whole Shaggy sounding rough Caribbean sound grates on me. Having said that, it is catchy enough and is a humourous pastiche of a host of other songs.

`Hurdy Gurdy Man’ by the Butthole Surfers is a song which I can take or leave- some days I enjoy it, sometimes it is annoying. It is tuneless for the most part with transparent melodies, but the overall hurdy gurdy effect I like more than dislike. Again though this is a song which often gets the skip treatment.

`Too Much Of A Good Thing’ is probably my favourite song in the movie and on the soundtrack, featuring in a couple of scenes. The central chords are memorable, the lyrics are very good, and there is quite a moody late night feel throughout. There are a couple of quiet breaks before the conclusion meaning it almost becomes a mini epic. Of the songs used here that were not a hit, this one deserved that status the most.

`The Bear Song’ is certainly the heaviest song on the album with heavy distorted guitars and a swirling bass riff. The lyrics are suitably insane repeating over and over and it features some odd impressions. The song is related to the infamous pepper scene of the movie; both build up steadily to the selling point.

`Take’ continues the heavy song flow and is an almost grunge tone. There are angry riffs which complement angrier lyrics. It stands out from the other melancholy songs because of this fact, while the other songs usually cover up the downbeat nature of the words with a jolly, blue sky sound. Luckily the melodies here are fine, though in the grand scheme of things it’s just an average angst ridden rock song.

`You Sexy Thing’ is an instant skip- I’ve yet to hear a version of this I like and this is amongst the worst. It tries to be different, it adds some funky twists, but even though I see that Lamborghini when I hear it, I still have to skip.

`Get Ready’ closes the album in an effective enough way- The Proclaimers seem like a suitable musical match to Harry and Lloyd. Upbeat and up tempo it doesn’t leave any bad tastes, though it isn’t outstanding in any way. The lyrics again reflect the love story and journey of the characters, and it is fuelled by a bluesy rhythm and shout along chorus.

Overall this is a strong soundtrack to accompany one of my personal favourite films. The songs have been nicely selected to suit the varying, albeit limited, moods of the film- from up tempo fun, downbeat and tender, to hysterical distortion. A good soundtrack should be capable of standing on its own feet, the problem is usually coherence- it’s just a bunch of songs strewn together with no semblance of continuity of relativity. Naturally if you’re a fan of the film in question this coherence comes from your own relationship to the film- as you listen you recall your favourite parts. Dumb and Dumber strikes a chord between your fond memories and being a collection of average to great songs.

What’s your favourite song from the album? Do you think the missing tracks are a huge downer? Pretty bird?

Hilarious Translations Of Song Lyrics – August 2014 Part 1

Please note – the following hilarious translations are not the same as the equally hilarious misheard lyrics, nor are they actual translations currently out there in Pop Land. All I have done is taken a famous song and slapped the lyrics into one of the famous (ly bad) Internet Translation tools – translated from English into Korean, then back into English, with hilarious results. I picked Korean because, based on previous experience, it seems to struggle in the funniest way with the English language, and vice versa. Each week, I’m going to select some of the most famous songs of all times, of recent times, and throw in a few obscure favourites too, all for your enjoyment! Lets start the laughter right now!

That’s All Right, Mama.

For our first song we go al the back to one of songs that started it all. Arthur Crudup’ s Blues Rocker was sexual, up-tempo, and featured some early guitar God fingering (good night, everybody!). Once Elvis got a hold of it, the rest of the world caught right on. Let’s take a look at the original lyrics.

Well, now that’s all right, mama. That’s all right for you. That’s all right mama, anyway you do.

But, that’s all right, that’s all right. That’s all right now mama, anyway you do

Well mama, mama she done told me, Papa told me too. They love you leavin’ son now. We’ll be there for you

That’s all right, that’s all right. That’s all right now mama, anyway you do. Yeah man

Baby one and one is two, Two and two is four, I love that woman but I’ve to let her go

But, that’s all right, that’s all right, That’s all right now mama, anyway you do

Babe now you don’t want me, why not tell me so? You won’t be bothered with me ‘Round you have no more

But, that’s all right, that’s all right, That’s all right now mama, anyway you do.

The Translation:

Well, now, all right, Mom, It’s all right for you. In other words, whatever you do, love, mom

However, that‘s all right, that‘s all right. That is, after all, you’re all mothers now

Then she told me to do the mom Mom. Dad told me.They leave a son now loves. We‘ll be there for you

That is, all right, that‘s all right. That is, after all, you’re all mothers now
Four people, The baby one two, one 2 is a two to four. I love her, but I let her

However, that‘s all right, that‘s all right. That is, after all, you’re all mothers now

Lady you do not want to tell me now, why? You do not bother me. You are no more abnormal round

However, that‘s all right, that‘s all right. That is, after all, you’re all mothers now.

The WTF:
We seem to have turned a fairly simply tale of love, rejection, heartache, and passive aggressive acceptance into a monstrous tale about Oedipal lust and mental breakdown, one which will surely end in a women-hating, serial killing rampage. The almost passive tone of the original becomes immediately cynical with the opening couple of lines, ending with the ominous ‘You’re all mothers now’. That is the sound of a man who has made the conscious decision to see the face of his mother on every women he sees. What it is Mom did is left unclear, and could it be that there are actually two ‘Moms’? The narrator switches between ‘Mom’ and mom at will, and finally the moniker ‘Lady’ appears – clearly the narrator recognises that his next victim is not his mother, or that the mother he thought he knew is now foreign to him. But what to make of the centrepiece? Most of the song is the same few rambling, confused thoughts, but in the middle we get the clusterfuck ‘Four people, The baby one two, one 2 is a two to four. I love her, but I let her’. Who are the four people – son, Mom, mom, Dad? Who, or whose, is the baby? This is the point in the narrative process that our hero loses the plot and starts thinking in random, nonsensical equations. Perhaps we get close to some sort of reasoning with ‘I love her, but I let her’, but he stops short of explaining exactly what it is he let her do. This is a secret the man will take to the grave. And he seems quite keen to take a few more mothers with him before he blows himself away at the end of an exciting, probably naked, car chase.

Too Much Of A Good Thing.

I was praying we would get something light-hearted after that gristly ending when I hit shuffle on my iPod, but I landed on another tale of lost love, courtesy of The Sons. If any of you out there recognise this song, it’s because you heard it while watching Dumb And Dumber. One thing to note is that this song has some interesting lyrics, and poetically selected words that you would assume would not translate well between English and Korean. Under such circumstances, hilarity is bound to ensue. Here we go:

The Original:

There’s a chill in the air comin’ off the river tonight, Sure am glad I chose my sweater,
Walk alone, I walk alone tonight,Yeah, I’ve felt better.
But I know, in my heart, One car in an alley is better than a vacant lot,
And you’ll see, on my face,Lines on a young man can find their place.

Baby, I have left so much behind, Until I passed the same place twice
Now I see just what ya done to me, Too much of a good thing.

Can you hold the line,another call’s comin’ in, Might be the one I just got over,
Back and forth and up again, For just a wrong number.
But to scream a good cry, Could leave me naked in some stranger’s eyes,
So I’ll whisper, a little cry, Hope this memory’ll soon pass by. Ooh.

Baby, I got feelin’s old and strong, I did not think they’ll last this long, Tell me why your light keeps turnin’ on,
I say too much of a good thing. Too much of a good thing.

A lonely voice finds little demand, it turns too shy and afraid to make a stand.

For one last time can’t you listen to me, Baby don’t let me go silently

You’re too much, you’re too much. You’re too much of a good thing, You’re too much of a good thing, too much
Much too, much too, much too, much too, much too, much too, much too much, You’re too much of a good thing.

The Translation:

The chill is in the air coming off the night today river, Of course, I’m glad I choose the sweater
Walk alone, I walk alone at night, Yeah, well, I thought.
But in my mind, you know, The car is better than a vacant lot in the alley,
And you can see my face You can find their place in line to a young man.

Baby, it remains very much I until it passes the same place twice
Now, do me just what ya see The good thing is too much.

You can hold the line, Import of other currencies‘, I just got one that can be,
Maximum back and forth Just wrong.
But a good cry scream You leave me naked in the eyes of the stranger
So, I whispered a little cry, Please memory’ll passing quickly. Right.

Baby, I‘m an old strong feeling I did not think they‘d be able to last for so long,
Turn in the light of why do you say, I say too much of a good thing.
The good thing is too much.

The WTF:

Well, where to begin? Once again, the song takes a cynical turn – the original being more of an anguished cry of depression, and once again the narrator experiences severe bouts of confusion, mumbling over his words like a scarecrow brought to life by the blackest of magic, and then being fed magic mushrooms. To his credit, he starts of stable enough, glad he chose a sweater for a late night walk, but a glimpse of his mind shows that all is not well – ‘The car is better than a vacant lot in the alley‘. What precisely does he mean? Is this a literal statement, that a car is better than nothing? Did he see something which sparked this? Or is he thinking that a car is better than a vacant lot to perform some fell action? Whatever it is, he appears to make a swift exit as someone sees his face and he runs off. ‘Do me just what ya see’ – is this something you say to a prostitute, or something you say as a final act of defiance to a torturer? After this we get some bizarre talk of currency, screaming, nudity in front of strangers, and the haunting ‘Maximum back and forth Just wrong‘. The torture theme comes round and round again as the protagonist seems to have achieved a higher state of being – removing his spirit from his body yet not understanding why, or how ‘they’d be able to last for so long’. Who ‘they’ are, it may be best to not know.

In conclusion, my first two songs walked a much darker path to hilarity than I expected, and any laughs to be found therein are likely the laughs of a madman as he rises from behind your sofa, blade in one hand, and decapitated doll’s head on the other. Sweet dreams.